Friday, April 23, 2010

I ride a fixie, but I'm not hipster

As of a year ago, I only knew one person that rode a fixie; Alo.

Now, I attend an art school in the *newly appointed* number one bicycling city in the America, MPLS, and it would be easier for me to name people who did not ride a fixie. The bike racks are daily littered with fixed-gear after fixed-gear, with colourful rims and bar tape, playing cards in the spokes and perfectly mismatched everything else.

Yes, I am talking about hipster fixie riders.

Now, I will admit it: I ride a fixie. I have every intention of swapping out parts to make her, Lucy, match and I sometimes wear tight jeans so as to not get my pant leg stuck in the crank. To anyone, I look like another hipster riding a fixie because it is hip, but deep down, I am not a hipster. If anything, I am an accidental hipster.

I know how it goes, "If you are denying being ____, you are totally ___." I agree with this, and I am not denying having hipster fixie riding qualities, but there are two things that set me apart from the actual dirty hipster trendy fixie riders.

PBR and handle-bars.

1. I do not drink PBR and everyone, who is anyone, knows that hipsters live on that stuff. I have a higher standard for my taste buds. Yes, bicycling and beer really do go hand in hand, but not can in hand. I do not drink PBR [or smoke American Spirits] so there for there is no way that I can be a hipster fixie rider.

2. The proper way to get on a bike is debated by scholars on nearly a daily basis. Hop on like horse, lean the bike over, there are plenty of options. The one option that every hipster has adopted is swinging the leg over the handle bars. You look like a pretentious idiot [I know I sound like one, but I will openly admit it]. The proper way to get on a bike is not to swing your leg over the front of the bike. One of my best friends mounts her bike this way ... I yell "hipster" at her every time. I know that it is an adaptation from serious cyclists ... but hipsters dirtied it up.

I'm not trying to hate, but sometimes it is good to get it out there.

So in the end, I might look like a hipster, though my pants are a little looser and my hair has been freshly washed, but I watch me get on Lucy and you will see that I am hipster hater just like everyone else. Yes, i just started riding fixie, but not to join the hipster trends. I started riding to join a brotherhood and connect with a 319 brother in another state. Yes, ultimately it doesn't really matter who is a hipster and who is not. Who works on their own bike and who needs help. Bicycling is all about connections, both intimately and communally.

The labels and the looks don't matter. Hipster or not, all that does matter is the fact that we just ride. Isn't that what the bicycling community is all about? Isn't that what we, NDJR, is all about?

Just ride.

...but don't call me a f*cking hipster.